March 13 - 19, 2016: Issue 255

Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring 2016

 Trafalgar Park - Newport - old tree stump made into useful ART - Garden Furniture

 Garden Jobs for March to Make a Beautiful Spring 2016

Vegetables that grow in cooler months

Before the weather cools down too much, and the soil with it,  there are some easy tasks you can do around your garden to ensure Spring blooms colourfully and, if you like growing your own vegetables, now is the time to plant the seeds for broccoli, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, carrots, onions and peas.

Broccoli, for instance, will take around 16-20 weeks form seed to crop if grown in cooler months but you will have something great to harvest in early Spring and children, and grandchildren, love seeing their food grow.

Carrots are another crop that will take around 12 weeks form seed to harvest, a vegetable that’s great raw or in cake!, and one youngsters will enjoy seeing pop up from the ground with those lovely fern green tops. These are also a vegetable that can be harvested as ‘baby carrots’ in around 30 days if patience gives way to curiosity and the younge green thumbs in the family just have to test a few now!

Prior to planting prepare your planting area by fertilizing the soil, adding in compost, a complete plant food and turn over, allow the mix to settle for a week prior to adding in new plants, especially seedlings. 

Fertilse and Mulch

Autumn is a great time to give the rest of your garden a boost while soil is still warm enough to absorb fertilizers and a good time to renew mulch. Winter can still be a dry time for soils and plants in Australia, so giving them a bit of TLC now will give them the boost they need until Spring. Lawns will benefit from a feed now too to see them through the cooler months.

PowerFeed Concentrate: $12.00 - 1.25L. Stimulates flowering and fruiting. Soil conditioner. Organically based.

Gard&Grow® Blood & Bone Fertiliser: $9.00 - 5kg. Contains added trace elements with a balanced blend of essential plant nutrients.

Neutrog Rapid Raiser Fertiliser: $10.00 - 10kg. All-purpose. Organic. Concentrated.

Starting your Winter Vegetable Garden

Seeds are best sown into trays or pots to begin with, that way you can make sure they don’t dry out. Once the seeds have germinated feed these with a diluted to half strength soluble plant food for a week prior to transplanting to your garden beds. Feed them again when planted with a watered based Dynamic Lifter seaweed to settle them into their new home and promote growth.

Planting and spacing carrots: Sow carrot seed ½  cm to 1½ cm deep about 2 ½ cms apart. Once the seedlings have sprouted thin carrots to around 10cms apart in wide beds and about 5 cm.s apart in rows. Space the rows 30 to 60cms apart as giving carrots some space will promote a good yield from a small area. 

Carrots need even moisture to ensure quick growth, so don’t allow the soil to dry out. You can reduce watering as the roots approach maturity as too much moisture at the end of the growing time will cause roots to crack. Add aged compost to planting before sowing and again as a side dressing at midseason. Spread wood ash over planting beds to provide extra potassium for root growth.

Chives, onions, leeks, peas, rosemary make good companion plants for carrots and you will be growing a feast before your eyes with these ingredients.

Broccoli is another vegetable that can be sown form seed in Autumn. The most important thing to remember about broccoli is it is one of those vegetables you must use crop rotation with – Yates recommends you don’t use the same garden bed for broccoli for three years.

Yates seeds are stocked by Johnson Brothers Hardware Mitre 10. Visit one of their stores and speak to their friendly staff about your Winter vegetables garden plan. JBH stock garden tools, fertilsers, mulch, garden equipment and even timber you can use to make borders for your garden.

Once your broccoli begins to crop, cut the large central head when the buds are well formed and before the flowers start to open. Removing this central head encourages smaller side shoots to form which will be ready for a second picking in a few weeks time.

Hexies Raised Garden Bed: $79.00 - 40(H) x 90(W) x 55(D)cm. 5 min assembly. Rolled safety edges. Bluescope steel. 5 year warranty. (Plants sold separately.)

Buy Right® Fork D Handle and Buy Right® D Handle Spade: $10.00 - D Handle.

Neta Jade Fitted Hose: $49.00 - 18mm x 18m. 3/ 6 star kink rating. 6 year guarantee.

Keeping the Bandicoots and Possums out of your Vegetable Patch

Anyone who has grown vegetables or herbs in Pittwater for any length of time will know possums love your parsley, your lettuce and the delightful bandicoot is quite happy to dig down deep to find those scrumptious roots to feast on before they get too big.

Apart from planting only in pots and remembering to cover these with buckets at dusk each day, what can you do to keep these locals from eating your garden for supper?

What worked for us was making a garlic spray – two tablespoons of crushed garlic to one litre of hot water, let it cool, then spray around and on your vegetable patch. 

Shadecloth is great in these circumstances too and a safe alternative to ANY kind of netting – simply drive some stakes at 1 ½ to 2 ½  foot distances apart and fashion the shadecloth ‘canopy’ so it may be clipped onto these, or ‘pegged’ – garden variety pegs or bulldogs clips will do, and unclip these for full sun during those Winter days. You will still have to remember to place it back in the stakes at dusk but this will be better than losing all that scrumptious growing food or unwillingly trapping an animal in netting.

Growing the herbs in pots and keeping these near the front door where they can be seen and making a chicken wire cage to place over them will allow you to grow your herbs and eat them too!

Autumn is a great time to get in the garden, cooler mornings and later afternoons make the work easier than hot Summer days and plants grown from cuttings or vegetables sown now will be stronger than those of early Spring and ready to eat.

Richgro Black Marvel Premium Rose Food: $17.00 - 5kg. High analysis rose fertiliser with sulphate of potash.

Gard&Grow® Premium Potting Mix: $8.00 - 25L. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Contains wetting agents and fertiliser.

Gard&Grow® Mesh Garden Cart: $79.00 - 300kg. Steel frame. Waterproof tray liner. Foldable sides for flat bed application. Pneumatic wheels. Top rack.

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in a€“ Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegetables  Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  DIY Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  The Salt Air Factor: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

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